HC Deb 24 February 1965 vol 707 cc381-2
19. Dr. Miller

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what steps he is taking to obtain up-to-date information about housing conditions in Scotland.

Dr. Dickson Mabon

My right hon. Friend is arranging for regular surveys of housing to be made on a sample basis. The first of these surveys will be carried out in the early summer. The work will be done by the Social Survey in collaboration with the University of Glasgow. The first results should be available in the autumn.

Glasgow Corporation intends to carry out a similar study, and my right hon. Friend welcomes the arrangements which have been made to co-ordinate the two surveys.

Dr. Miller

Will my hon. Friend keep in mind the fact that the provision of houses is of the utmost importance to the people of Scotland, and that they consider that this is a major social service which should be undertaken by the Government? Is this the first time that a survey of this kind has been undertaken? Will its result be published in due course?

Dr. Mabon

I agree with what my hon. Friend said in the first part of his supplementary question. This is the first time since the war that a comprehensive survey of housing has been carried out in Scotland, and its results will be published.

Mr. Russell Johnston

Will the Minister also take cognisance of such information as was sent to the Secretary of State on 12th of this month concerning vacant houses owned by British Railways? Is he aware that a similar position exists in Mallaig?

Dr. Mabon

I am unaware of that problem, but I will look into the question and write to the hon. Member.